Feb 11, 2013 12:00pm PST
. today, stunning news from the vatican. i wonder if god was surprised to learn pope benedict is stepping down. >>> i'm s.e. cupp. millions of americans captivated by the search of a successor. the picking a new pontiff. >>> i'm steve kornacki. president obama has tossed out the old olive branch. coming up, a man who himself helped write four state of the union addresses explains who us how it takes shape. >>> i'm krysa tal. should the president go big by thinking small? it's monday and you're in "the cycle." >>> after having repeatedly examined my conscience before god, i have come to the certainty that my strengths due to an advanced age are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the petrine ministry and the pope abdicated with only eight years on st. peter's throne shocking the 1 billion catholic faithful around the world. the's not a papal abdication in more than 700 years and surprised the close est adviser today. he's a theological conservative with strong positions against homosexuality, women priests and the use of contraceptives. the last day in the vatican is february 28th.
Feb 11, 2013 3:00pm EST
and the use of contraceptives. the last day in the vatican is february 28th. the college of cardinals meets in conclave mid-march to elect a successor. the pope will not participate. there's you are surgency to hav pope seated before the holy week. we start with claudio in vatican city. when's the latest? >> reporter: hi, toure. now the countdown is finally started, of course. well, there's no -- usually people don't have the chance to see the -- to know when the end of an end happens because in the past the pope had to die before a new pope could be voted in. this time, we have a date. 28th of february and we got a lot of reaction to the announcement of pope benedict xvi that he is resigning. first of all, look at how he -- well, he abdicated rather than resigning. let's see how. he did that during a low-key affair this morning the vatican meeting with cardinals. wasn't a big deal and he said -- his speech made it in latin. not italian or english or a comprehensible language to most people and it was down to somebody from a local press office, local wire agency to actually figure out that
Feb 14, 2013 12:00pm PST
final days in vatican city as he relinquishes his thrown. cardinals around the world will gather to determine who will succeed him. what direction will the church go in let's ask nbc news vatican analyst who's in roam for us. george, i want to dive right in because i know we have got a delay to worry about. most people know the role of the pope as the spiritual leader among catholics, but of course his other job is to proselytize and grow his flock. if you look around the landscape of global catholicism, you see that catholicism is very important in parts of europe, south america and south africa. should that be a consideration in choosing the next pope, finding someone who might be able to grow the flock in area where is catholicism is least represented? >> reporter: first of all the church is actually in very bad shape in a lot of western europe. and what we need, i think, what the church needs, is a pope who wherever he comes from is such a radically converted disciple of jesus crist is that he can invite people to consider the possibility of crist faith. we have seen that com